Terry Pratchett began writing thenovels of his Discworld fantasy series in 1983. Snuff is the 39th book in the collection.
If you've read the Discworld novels by popular fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, you've surely encountered Death. He's an actual character — a skeleton in a black hood who's portrayed as not such a bad guy after all.
So maybe it's not so surprising that at 63, Pratchett — who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's — speaks openly about causing his own death.
Cruising on Main Street: A scene from George Lucas's 1973 film American Graffiti.
Credit Larry Abramson
John Furrer of Petaluma, Calif. in front of his 1955 Chevy pickup.
Watch the opening scenes of George Lucas's 1973 classic American Graffiti, and you will catch glimpses of my hometown, San Rafael, California, as it flits past the windshields of the classic cars that serve as the real set of this movie. As the film opens, Steve, played by Ron Howard, and Curt, played by Richard Dreyfuss, are whiling away their last night home before leaving for college back east. Curt is plagued by doubts, and Steve has to speak a little courage to him. "We're finally getting out of this turkey town and now you want to crawl back into your cell, right?
A rioter throws a rock at police in Clarence Road in Hackney on Tuesday in London.
So who are the British rioters and why are they doing it? It seems like an easy question, but it's been fairly hard to ascertain. In some ways, two distinct portraits of rioters have emerged. In some ways, they're typified by two videos that have made the rounds online.
One is of a disaffected youth that's underemployed and has nothing to lose. It is typified by a video of Pauline Pearce, a 45-year-old grandmother, who was walking through the streets of Hackney and confronted rioters with some blunt speech. Here's the video, but be warned there is some strong language in it:
A new drug called rivaroxaban may not require as many blood tests for patients with atrial fibrillation than the current drug on the market.
A common form of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation can cause blood clots, putting people at increased risk of stroke. The anticoagulant drug warfarin is used to reduce that risk, but since people respond to it very differently, it requires careful monitoring to avoid the risk of heavy bleeding. Now, researchers say a new drug called rivaroxaban looks to be as good as warfarin in preventing strokes.
Joe Raben harvests corn on land he farms with his father and uncle Oct. 4, 2008, near Carmi, Ill. Some farmers say technological improvements and farming mechanization, not subsidies, are responsible for increased output.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
Bill Raben loads a grain truck as he helps to harvest corn on land he farms with his brother Oct. 4, 2008, near Carmi, Illinois. Raben's family has been farming in the area for four generations. Farm subsidies are just one way the government can influence farming – there is a wide array of federal programs – some programs have the effect of lowering prices while others cause an increase.
These days, U.S. farm policy is blamed for a lot of things — even the nation's obesity epidemic. The idea is that the roughly $20 billion in subsidies that the federal government gives to farmers encourages them to grow too much grain. As a result, the theory goes, prices drop, food gets cheaper and we end up eating too much.
It seems like a simple equation. But the truth is rarely simple. So what's really going on?